Thursday, July 30, 2020

Nineveh Turns to God


Jonah’s heart had been softened through the miraculous punishment and provision of God. So, this time when God called Jonah to preach to Nineveh, Jonah said yes. He shares a message with the king of Nineveh, and in a shocking turn of events the hard-hearted king repents! As you study, look for the details of what the king says and does in his repentance. What does that teach you about soft-heartedness?

STUDY THE SCRIPTURE

Click here to access the reading from Jonah 3:1-10

For more help use this Bible Study method

REFLECTION

Nineveh Turns to God
by Kelsey Bacon
  
How often do you face conviction? How often do you look into the face of your own sin and feel the true effects of your wrongdoing, feel the desire to repent and turn back to God? I find that conviction can be an easy thing to shake off, to ignore. How easily our pride gets in the way of our own self-examination, our own repentance.

Looking at this passage, I greatly admire the people of Nineveh for their ability to so easily repent. When Jonah walked in and declared their wrongdoing, the Ninevites didn't get offended, they didn't fight him, their pride didn't get in the way of seeing their own faults. They looked inward, looked to the Lord, and knew what they had done and that they had to make it right. And they acted immediately; fasting, and praying, repenting of their sins.

If only we were more like the Ninevites. How many times have I resisted repentance, resisted even the idea that I could be wrong about something, because I couldn't bear the idea of laying down my pride? Our sinful patterns as Christians often appear much more subtly than many of the sins talked about in the stories of the Bible. We go to church, we read our Bibles, we love others, we love Jesus. But there are so many small ways that sin can creep into our lives that we can so easily ignore. Selfishness is one sin I've been struggling with lately. 

God has been peeling back layers of my heart like an onion, exposing selfishness in me that I didn't even know was there. Pride is another one. We can often see ourselves as better than others because we're Christian. When I was younger, I know that I thought this, but I disguised the thought for many years until I truly realized my own prideful mindset.

We need to be like the Ninevites. When God convicts us, when we feel that need for repentance, however big or small, take it to the Lord. Repentance is such a beautiful part of our faith. Think about it: you, weak and on your knees. God, kneeling to meet you exactly where you are. Forgiving you. Helping you to stand. He guides you away from where you came and onto a new path, one with him in the lead.

Reflection:
1. Is there any part of your life where you feel God's conviction? Or any conviction from God that you might be pushing away and avoiding because you think you're right?
2. Pray and ask God to guide you on his path for you. Repent of anything you need to repent of and receive the full forgiveness of Christ.

UALC’S CAMPAIGN OF PRAYER 
THURSDAY - TRIUMPH 
Pray for scientists all over the world seeking antidotes to heal the world of this virus. Pray they would be triumphant quickly.

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